Pacifism, Peace and Modern Welsh Writing

Author(s) Linden Peach

Language: English

Genre(s): Literary Criticism

Series: Writing Wales in English

  • May 2019 · 256 pages ·216x138mm

  • · Hardback - 9781786834027
  • · Paperback - 9781786834034
  • · eBook - pdf - 9781786834041
  • · eBook - epub - 9781786834058

About The Book

This book introduces the contribution of modern Welsh literature to our understanding of peace and pacifism – an important and much overlooked subject in Welsh studies. Taking a literary-historical approach to the subject, it reveals how modern Welsh writing opens up history in ways in which historical discourse alone sometimes fails to do. It argues that the concepts of peace, peacefulness and pacifism have played a broader and more complex role in Welsh life than has been recognised, primarily through an influential Welsh-language pacifist intelligentsia. The author reminds us that Welsh pacifism is distinguished from English pacifism by the Welsh language itself, its links with Welsh nationalism and by the fact that it faced challenges and pressures never encountered by English pacifism. Authors discussed in this study include Tony Curtis, George M. Ll. Davies, Pennar Davies, John Eilian, Emyr Humphreys, Glyn Jones, D. Gwenallt Jones, T. Gwynn Jones, T. E. Nicholas, Iorwerth C. Peate, Angharad Price, Ned Thomas, Lily Tobas and Waldo Williams.


‘Pacifism, Peace and Modern Welsh Writing is an enlivening and erudite study, which draws on a range of Welsh-language and English-language texts to reveal the distinctive, interwoven history and cultural importance of pacifist thought in Wales.’
-Dr Laura Wainwright, author of New Territories in Modernism: Anglophone Welsh Writing 1930–1949

‘Words! What do they mean? This book starts with the problem of words. “Pacifism” can mean “cowardice” or “in praise of peace”, depending on who says it and what their purpose is. In exploring the apparent paradox, this book expands the meaning of what it is to be a pacifist.’
-Professor David Cadman, co-editor of Peacefulness (2017)

'This impressive study will certainly inform and stimulate the much needed future debate on the elusive subject of pacifism in modern Wales. It deserves to be widely read, more than once in fact, and is a most suitable recent addition to a very successful series of academic studies.'
- J. Graham Jones, Gwales

'Peach broadly charts the development of pacifism in Wales during the twentieth and early twenty-first centuries, arguing that ‘Welsh pacifism is not simply an opposition to war but addresses the structural roots of conflict in society and the social causes of inequalities including gender, class, ethnicity and race, and in doing so supplants them by pro-peace values’ (p.4). The demarcation between anti-war and pro-peace attitudes may at first sight seem unnecessary. However, Peach’s literary-historical approach meticulously excavates this distinction and how it arose following the First World War.'
- Planet Magazine


Series Editors’ Preface
Pacifism and Protest:
Mapping Welsh Pacifism
The Bible and the Prison
Peace and Peacefulness:
The Spirit of Pacifism: Waldo Williams and D. Gwenallt Jones
Unpeaceful Voices: Writing the Home Fronts
Conflicting Worlds
Post-Pacifism: Peace and War
A Welsh Pacifist Translation of an English Classic an Afterword
Select Bibliography

About the Author(s)

Author(s): Linden Peach

Professor Linden Peach is Director of Educational Development at the Prince’s School of Traditional Arts, London. He has published extensively on modern literature, including important works on the Welsh novelist and pacifist Emyr Humphreys, and on Welsh women’s writing. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, and a Fellow of the English Association.

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